30 NOVEMBER 1996

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IN THE Budget, Mr Kenneth Clarke, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, cut a penny from the standard rate of income tax; cut 26p from a bottle of spirits; put up a packet of...

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Kenneth Clarke is a post-Lawsonian Chancellor. Can he deliver post-Lawsonian inflation? BRUCE ANDERSON T he Chancellor's performance was mas- terly. Ken Clarke never lacks...

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JENNIFER PATERSON F . rank Johnson's account of my Spectator 'incident' reminds me of Frank Bristow's 'Tea Trolley Disaster' in the Evening Stan- dard. Events wrapped in the...

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Our age has not dispensed with demons. It has just transformed them into stalkers and pit bull terriers MATTHEW PARRIS D emons stalk the mind of 20th-century man as menacingly...

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The civil service will no longer be the silent service. Sue Cameron explains why Whitehall's finest are increasingly taking to our screens WHITEHALL is more than a little...

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Even after all this time, says Christopher Fildes, Kenneth Clarke as Chancellor is a refreshing change KENNETH Clarke likes to play the cheeky chappie, but the prize for sheer...

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Two Germanic emporers fought us in the first world war Stuart Campbell says the one who died 80 years ago didn't want to WHEN the young Victoria was informed by Lord...

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Douglas Johnson reassesses that defence minister who spied for the Eastern bloc and says that many of his compatriots sympathised AT THE beginning of November, the French...

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J. Edgar Hoover remains one of the Left's chief villains. But Michael Harrington believes that it is time to praise his Cold War achievements WE NOW know that Al g er Hiss was...


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Michael Heath

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Mind your language

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ITS TIME for some Advent season con- gratulations to you for solving the great bumtaffy conundrum. If that seems familiar, I can assure you that we have made astonishing...

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Artemis Cooper, explaining the Channel Islands' Venybags', says the Germans were often more attractive than their own menfolk 'IF WE should lose this campaign,' the Luftwaffe...

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Theodore Pappas talks to an ex-US intelligence and defence chief who now spies out illiberalism in books ONLY IN America could the butchering of a black celebrity's ex-wife...

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New Yorkers mourn the passing of the three- martini lunch. But Charles Laurence finds that self-indulgence still thrives — discreetly New York MY hostess is apologising for...

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The fuss over ti 1.4 iss World contest, Tunku Varadant says, is a reflection of India:, , it personality ANTI-bikini wallahs, irate Hindu auto- immolationists and the feminist...

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Parliamentarian of the year: the winners THE THIRTEENTH annual Highland Park/Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year Awards took place on Wednesday. The awards were presented by...

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A bubble chamber has nothing in common with a fashionable art gallery PAUL JOHNSON his week I had intended to write about the Daily Mirror, which is now challenging the News...

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A little understanding

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Sir: Mr Gerry Adams blames the British for the failure of the Irish to save the Irish lan- guage. The mayor of New York wants his city's schoolchildren to be instructed in the...

Sir: Little can we add to the fact that the

The Spectator

sur- vivors of the International Brigades have come back to Spain on holidays. The ideal- ism of Stalin's foot-soldiers can also be beyond doubt, but I am amazed by Alfred...


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to keep Germany in check. Of course, a pact with Germany as a means of keeping the Soviet Union out of a European war was always an option, but what government in that situation...

Falling into the trap

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Sir: Over the last few months, a series of articles have appeared in the press, all attacking Sir James Goldsmith from a com- mon standpoint. The first, by Sir Michael Spicer,...

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Fascists' corner

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Sir: Taki, with his customary self-restraint, gently ends his column (High life, 16 November) with the words, 'Arriba Franco, Arriba Pinochet, Arriba Salazar"! A less tasteful...

Sir: The article you published on the Church of England

The Spectator

(And another thing, 23 November) was a lot more obscene than your pictures of bare bottoms. Robert Davies 7 Willowcroft, Lee Park, London SE3

Lack of judgment

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Sir: I am absolutely gobsmacked by Paul Johnson's breathtakingly hypocritical arti- cle on the Anglican Church (And another thing, 23 November), and even more at your lack of...

Bottoms up

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Sir: The Erotic Print Society has advertised with The Spectator for nearly three years — indeed, in its earliest incarnation as the Maclean Gallery, as far back as 1980. I am a...

Sir: Paul Johnson's vituperative and malig- nant call for the

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destruction of the Church of England contains an appeal to 'all Angli- cans still attached to genuine Christianity' to convert to Catholicism. Doesn't 'genuine Christianity'...

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Why everyone's pleased as Punch about the editor's departure (including, I suspect, the departed editor) STEPHEN GLOVER A part from wishing it well before its re- launch in...

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The best ever Philip Hensher STRAVINSKY, VOLUMES I & II by Richard Taruskin OUP, £80.00, pp. 1,788 T here's no field of intellectual endeav- our, I suppose, which has so...

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The testimony of a material witness

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William Feinnes LEARNING TO DRIVE by William Norwich Headline, £16.99, pp. 214 J ulian Orr, the narrator of William Nor- wich's first novel Learning to Drive, admires E.F....

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Fighting and footwork

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Allan Mallinson AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT FALKLANDS: THE BATTLE OF SAN CARLOS WATER by Michael Clapp and Ewen Southby-Tailyour Leo Cooper, £18.95, pp. 300 I n 1981, the year before...

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Planet of the bugs

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Michael Bywater LIFE'S GRANDEUR by Stephen Jay Gould Cape, £16.99, pp. 244 W e live in interesting times and I sometimes wonder if we realise just how interesting they are....

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Fear and loving in LA

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Michael Carlson MY DARK PLACES by James Ellroy Cenuay, 16.99, pp. 254 hen James Ellroy was ten, his moth- er's strangled body was found in a school- yard in El Monte,...

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Getting the right exposure

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Andrew Barrow A HAND AT THE SHUTTER by Francis King Constable, £15.99, pp. 191 T he title of this slim volume of short stories was inspired by a stray remark made by V. S....

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No shrinking flower

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Fiona Maddocks VIOLET by Jessica Douglas-Home Harvill, £20.00, pp. 352 H andsome, clever and rich, and a good many other things besides, Violet Gordon Woodhouse sounds as...

More shocker than thriller

The Spectator

Nick Dent THE PSALM KILLER by Chris Petit Macmillan, 116.99, pp. 544 T he first chapter of The Psalm Killer gives us some lively sex in a car between a terrorist hit-man and...

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A staggering success

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Vicki Woods YVES SAINT LAURENT by Alice Rawsthorn HarperCollins, £20, pp. 320 F ashion is the cruellest business. Thirty- odd years ago, the young and revolutionary Yves Saint...

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Very old neglected friends

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Keith Thomas MEETINGS WITH REMARKABLE TREES by Thomas Pakenham Weidenfeld, £25, pp. 192 A ctors and politicians know that no one who wants to be seen to advantage should be...

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Recent books on tape

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Robert Cooper N ot read the book but heard the tape. Does it really count? The bookish may sneer at the growing number of audio book buyers, but with less and less time to sit...

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Not drowning but waving

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Philip Marsden THE EAGLE AND THE CROW: MODERN POLISH SHORT STORIES edited by Teresa Halikowska and George Hyde Serpent's Tail, £9.99, pp. 240 P oland in the Twenties and...

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Middle English miniature

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Daniel Johnson GEORGE'S LAIR by John Bayley Duckworth, £15.99, pp. 208 J ohn Bay! 's late flowering as a novelist has probably surprised nobody as much as himself....

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A final selection of the best and most overrated books of the year, chosen by some of The Spectator's regular contributors Patrick Leigh Fennor Peter Hopkirk's Quest for Kim...

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When up is down and in is out Intriguing or infuriating? Should the Turner Prize be taken seriously, asks Martin Gayford H ot is cold, day is night, lost is found, everywhere...

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David Hockney: You Make the Picture (Manchester City Art Galleries, till 2 February 1997) Retreat into a private world Edward Lucie-Smith N ow Francis Bacon is dead, David...

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Crash (no certificate, no cinema, no MOT) Fear (18, selected cinemas) Beautiful Girls (15, selected cinemas) Are U-turned on? Mark Steyn R eturning from a short motoring...

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Die Soldaten (Coliseum) Full of sound and fury Michael Tanner B ernd Alois Zimmermann's Soldiers (inexplicably called Die Soldaten in the pro- gramme and advertisements) is a...

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Old Wicked Songs (Gielgud) Jesus Christ Superstar (Lyceum) Stepping Out (Thorndike, Leatherhead) Late and Lyrical (Jermyn Street Theatre) The power of music Sheridan Morley...

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Vertically challenged Ursula Buchan I n her novel, Innocence, Penelope Fitzgerald describes a 16th-century Floren- tine family of midgets, who surround them- selves with...

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Infamous females Michael Vestey I f you've written a book it helps to have read it, especially when appearing on the radio to promote it. Facing Ned Sherrin on Loose Ends on...


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Marriage of minds James Delingpole I 've read Emma probably more times than any book save the screenplay to With- nail & I. I had to. It was my A-level set text and one of the...

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Not motoring

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Essential connections Gavin Stamp T he catalogue to the exhibition on Air- ports and Airways held at the RIBA notes about planning new airports that 'the possi- bility of...

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The turf

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Sporting spirit Robin Oakley E ven at Ascot, there is another side to life. It is not all Jasper Conran couture, bowler-hatted officialdom and the over-fed complaining that...

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High life

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Fun is there for the taking Taki h dear! According to Tina Brown's organ, the Big Bagel's media, journalists, arts and literary crowd no longer have any fun. James Atlas, one...

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Low life

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I need you, Vera Jeffrey Bernard D uring the last few months I have thought about giving up writing anything at all, apart from this column, with increasing frequency and if...

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Country life

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Opportunity knocks Leanda de Lisle I t was rather sweet of the television pre- senter Tony Parsons to say that the aristoc- racy and country gentry should be protected, 'like...

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BRIDGE Taking a risk Andrew Robson THE best partnership in the world is Jeff Meckstroth and Eric Rodwell of America. This week's hand from the 1981 World Championship final...

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Imperative cooking: culinary disasters

The Spectator

`And this one's the Great Bore.' The basic problem the English and the Americans have with coffee is that they don't have enough of it. Yes, I know they are always drinking it,...

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Far beyond praise

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Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1960 you were invited to supply a ridiculously eulogistic book review. When I was a young cub in a publisher's office I can recall our publicity...


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IN-THE-STRAND SIMPSON'S IN CHESS Top notch Raymond Keene ON 8 DECEMBER a competition starts in Las Palmas which can lay claim to be the strongest chess tournament ever...

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CROSSWORD 1289: Craps by Ascot

The Spectator

A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 1990 Port for the first correct solution opened on 16 December, with two runners-up prizes of £20 (or, for UK...

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Beware of beauty Simon Barnes THERE IS an aesthetic dimension to sport. To deny this is not to say that this does not exist, only that you lack the quality in your- self. But...


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Dear Mary. . . Q. When would it be correct to start talking about the forthcoming television produc- tion of Dance to the Music of Time? I have already seen some of the filming...